By Chino S. Leyco
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is encouraging local governments in to strive to be recognized as among the creative cities by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESO).
Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said that becoming a UNESCO Creative City of Design should encourage more local governments to harness the potential of creativity and creative industries to spur local growth and development.
Edillon said that Baguio City and Cebu City’s inclusion to the coveted global recognition should inspire other local governments to follow suit by putting creativity and the creative economy at the heart of urban development.
“We laud the efforts of the entire community in achieving this distinction. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 recognizes the role of creativity in promoting Philippine culture and values for development,” Edillon said in a statement.
“Having UNESCO Creative Cities in the country will significantly advance creative excellence that cultivates national pride, advances innovation, and boosts our growing creative economy,” said Edillon, who is currently NEDA officer-in-charge.
Cebu City was one of 66 cities added this year to the UNESCO Design City title, marking the Philippines’ second successful bid following Baguio City’s inscription in 2017.
The Cebu’s recognition was a result of collaborative effort from public and private sectors, through the Regional Development Council-Central Visayas led by its Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue, and supported by the city’s vibrant creatives sector.
Membership to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network requires candidate cities to submit an application, which includes a commitment to promote sustainable development with direct impact on local communities.
These cities may also choose to specialize in any of the following seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, or Music.
UNESCO Creative Cities may also tap the international network for cooperation and knowledge-sharing to establish innovative policies towards creativity.
“We hope that the recognition of Cebu and Baguio can inspire our agencies and private sector partners in the Regional Development Councils to collaborate more closely in making more cities represent the best talents our country can offer to the world,” Edillon added.
Edillon is currently the OIC of NEDA while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia is on official travel abroad.